Chomping at the Bit: Florida Gators' John Brantley, Mike Pouncey Work On Snaps
Chomping at the Bit is Joe Morgan's weekly take on Florida Gators football. This series will consist of reactions to the current season, as well as any other Gator news.
Current Record: 1-0
Where They Rank: No. 8
Where They Should Be Ranked: No. 12
Next Game: Sept. 11, South Florida
Previous Game Recap: On a day when the John Brantley-led offense managed only 26 yards of total offense through the first three quarters, the Gator defense stepped up in a big way by intercepting four passes, including a 67-yard return by junior cornerback Janoris Jenkins for the first touchdown of the game.
While the game's final score (34-12) looked like a typical opening weekend thumping, Florida's victory over the RedHawks was both hard-fought and extremely ugly.
Mike Pouncey, John Brantley Work On Center-Quarterback Exhange
The story of the Gators' season opener was the anemic offense and at the center of the storm was senior center Mike Pouncey.
Pouncey's errant snaps to redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley accounted for four of Florida's eight fumbles Saturday.
Being the team leader that he is, Pouncey took credit for the offensive woes Saturday and vowed to improve in time for next week's game against the South Florida Bulls.
"[The snapping problem] will be fixed by next week," the team captain told Joseph Goodman of The Miami Herald. "We've got a long way to go as an offense. We did some good things, but everybody saw the obvious stuff we did terrible on."
According to Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel, Pouncey and Brantley wasted no time getting started, meeting to watch film and practice together Sunday morning and later again that night.
The duo also spent extra time perfecting the center-quarterback after practice Monday, which should fix problem, especially when you consider the talent of Pouncey and Brantley.
I believe Saturday's snapping problems arose from Pouncey trying to get too quick of a start on his pulling blocks and some opening game jitters for two players getting used to new positions.
There will be very few problems from the Brantley-Pouncey tandem for the rest of this season.
Urban Meyer: Practice This Week Is Critical
Following the Florida Gators' ugly 34-12 victory over the Miami (OH) RedHawks, the Gator Nation was shocked by the home team's anemic performance, including head coach Urban Meyer.
"I didn't imagine the offensive incompetence that we experienced today," Meyer told the Gainesville Sun following the Miami (OH) game. "We have a lot of talented guys, but we have to get a lot better."
And for Meyer, getting better will start immediately.
"This will probably be as critical a week as we've ever had as far as getting ready," Meyer said. "We'll come back [Sunday] and work hard. That's what we do around here: work hard and try to get better."
While Meyer likely takes a calmer approach to his coaching nowadays due to his recent health issues, it wouldn't surprise me at all if this week's drills turn out to be some of the most intense many of these players have ever experienced.
Meyer has never been the type of coach to put up with mediocrity or a lack of focus from his players, so expect a much more efficient and fundamentally-sound offense against South Florida next week.
Special thanks to Arnold Feliciano and the Gainesville Sun for the quotes from Coach Meyer.
Tim Tebow: Gone, But Definitely Not Forgotten In Gainesville
While Saturday marked the beginning of the John Brantley Era in Gainesville, the ghost of school legend Tim Tebow loomed large over the proceedings.
While the anemic offensive performance made Florida fans miss Tebow's versatility and consistency as a playmaker, the most notable mark of Tebow's impact on Gator Nation was found in the stands.
While at the game, I decided to keep a running tally on how many Florida fans were donning Tebow jerseys at "The Swamp."
Once I finished conducting my uncontrolled and unscientific survey, I had counted 144 No. 15 jerseys, 13 of which were the NFL's highest-selling jersey--Tebow's Denver Broncos digs.
Other interesting jerseys I saw included a couple of Rex Grossman No. 8's, a No. 81 (Aaron Hernandez), several Emmitt Smith throwback No. 22's, a No. 13 with Burton across the back, and a No. 12 with Brantley across the back.
While Tebow's shirt dominated the stands, multiple Gators were well-represented.
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